01/11/2010 10:24PM

Ten Days In


Okay, time to get back on the horse(s). We're 10 days and 10 graded stakes into 2010 and my handle for the new decade stands at $0. I know, it's a disgrace. I'll try to do better the next 355 days.

Here's the graded-stakes summary to date:


The most impressive performance of the new year, however, belongs to Eightyfiveinafifty, who is officially on the Derby trail after a 17 1/4-length maiden victory at Aqueduct last Saturday that earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 105.

Eightyfiveinafifty was a well-kept secret (i.e., 27-1) when trainer Gary Contessa unveiled him at Saratoga last Aug. 1. He dueled odds-on favorite Discreetly Mine into defeat through sensational fractions of 21.74 and 44.21, understandably tiring late to finish third in a race won by Dublin, who took the Hopeful in his next start. (Discreetly Mine also won his next start, and later ran second in the Futurity and Champagne, and fourth in last Saturday's ungraded Spectacular Bid at Gulfstream.)

A hock injury in the fall kept him Eightyfiveinafifty sidelined until last Saturday, when he returned at 35 cents on the dollar and trounced a well-regarded Bobby Barbara firster and six others. The Aqueduct inner track was slow on Saturday but consistently slow throughout the day, and Eightyfiveinafifty's big Beyer was legit: His 1:10.85 was nearly two full seconds faster than the next best of the day's three other sprint races, which fell right into line with his huge performance:


I can't blame anyone for thinking that a son of Forest Camp who's spending the winter at Aqueduct is not exactly the embodiment of a classic winner, but Eightyfiveinafifty is a freakishly fast talent. Next stop: Stretching out to a mile and a sixteenth in the Whirlaway Feb. 6. 

EJXD2 More than 1 year ago
Vicstu, GMoney was referring to the Woody Stephens (nee Riva Ridge) and King's Bishop STAKES... not the horses.
vicstu More than 1 year ago
Gmoney, You posted: "This happens every year. A great sprinter who they will ruin by insiting on running him long. Think Riva Ridge and Kings Bishop." You have lost me with Riva Ridge...how was that horse, the winner of the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes, and numerous other 2 turn and classic races and a world record holder at 1-3/16 miles on dirt possibly a sprinter who was "ruined" by going long? He was a 2 time Eclipse winner at 2 and 4 and was every bit as effective going long...probably more (as the world record indicates at 9.5 furlongs) for the Brooklyn Handicap at Aq. Look it up yourself: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riva_Ridge If this is how you ruin a very fast 1 turn horse, 85ina50 could pay very well on Derby and Belmont Stakes day...the only reason he did not fire in the Preakness was he could not handle a very wet track...You have to be thinking of another horse. As for 85ina50, it will be interesting to follow. Contessa has been saying he is the most talented horse he has ever trained, even before his first win, and claims the horse is a freak that looks like he can run all day...who knows if he can rate or if he needs the lead? Spanish Chestnut or Keyed Entry or Big Brown or Hard Spun? Only time will tell. If this horse was just a joke, however, Steve would dismiss the horse and his chances out of hand...seems he is slightly sceptical but curious. That says a lot to me...
r. coulter More than 1 year ago
for curt a vassalo, your memery is kind of short. there was this little filly that won the santa anita oaks that out-gutted curlin in your Belmont stakes .her name was rags to riches.
tony More than 1 year ago
we'll still no GULF , SA, Fair Grounds. And now oakland at any NJ betting similcast . THis has become a total JOKE .... I hope they all go UNDER . THis is how they treat the people who make this sport go . To only be able to bet AQU is really a joke .
Arcstats More than 1 year ago
Hey Prozacjack - save the wear an tear on your fingers and come to the grips that the game as you want to see it is OVER. The racetrack is a dead animal. The only people who give a damm about the bettors are the off-shore sites who rebate 7+% of your handle on regular basis, regardless of your action. If you want to continue to play this game without having to bang your head against the wall in frustration over things that cannot be changed, you've got to change. So play from home. Channel your frustrations into getting a single TV platform that will show all races from all tracks. As of now, between TVG and HRTV streaming video over the Internet, you've got access to all tracks. It's not great, but I'm sure you've spent many hours in OTB parlors where all you had was the audio feed from the track. But most importantly -send your action offshore. They seem to care about their customers. I hate the way racing is run just as much as you do. Thus I spend most of my time involved in sports betting. But if you're hell-bent on continuing to play this game, make the necessary adjustments. Otherwise you got no chance. And if you should find a decent track worth investing the time in to play, please let me know.
Joel More than 1 year ago
While Forest Camp was best at sprint distances he did run a good race in the 1 1/16th mile Norfolk losing by 1/2 a length. I generally agree with Seeking the Gold's assessment. If 85ina50's connections really want to win a classic I think they should loook at one of the Two Thousand Guineas(English, Irish or French). He has the kind of controlled speed that works in a straight mile and Forest Camp's usually like the grass. Wesley Ward has shown it can be done and if he runs well there that would really tempt the Sheiks.
KOTT More than 1 year ago
Prozacjack - I'll go to your racetrack. Last race is a pet peeve. I remember the "last race at old Garden State Park" which always seemed to be hard knocking claimers with form you could play. "Go home with Culmone" (for all you fellow old timers)
jim More than 1 year ago
bomb in the last race at big a...# 10 taking a shot across the board
Cavonnnier More than 1 year ago
I'm not sure if it's fair to say Street Sense didn't like synthetic surfaces. I doubt Nafzger had him fully cranked in the Breeders' Futurity or Bluegrass Stakes. In the Kentucky Cup, he found it impossible to track down Hard Spun, a very classy horse who was lone speed. There hasn't been a "fair" dirt surface in the Breeders' Cup since 2005, as the main track was sloppy in 2007 and had an inside bias in 2006.
tony More than 1 year ago
Steve Eightyfiveinafifty did look impressive but he was running against all 1st x starters. Lets see what he does stretching out against more established horses before we talk derby . The inner was playing so slow on Sat . What do think caused that all of a sudden ? Seemed very strange to us all . And lastly were still not able to bet GULFSTREAM at any NJ simil site . What's the deal ? Can they find any more ways to screw up our game . The best meet of the winter and we can;t bet it . It's just ridiculous.